It’s almost February! Just like that a month of 2017 just slips away!
I thought it would be a great time to bring up the topic of resolutions and intentions. Or intended resolutions? Unlike many years in the past, I decided to go without resolutions this year.
Every time December rolled around, I would usually sit down to reexamine resolutions of the past year and set new ones in the presence of three of my closest girl friends. We carried the tradition on for the longest time in celebration of our friendship and the sense of renewal that came with another year.
As I transitioned into married life this year and moved for good an ocean away to another country, I not only left three of my best friends in the physical distance but also the will to set any resolutions.
Not because I was beyond devastated. Leaving friends, family and old traditions behind is never easy. But along with a new beginning on the horizon, I wanted to try something new. Something that I constantly heard about in the days leading up to 2017.
My resolution setting in the past was a bit shortsighted and in turn short lived to say the least. I was only writing down things that I wanted to achieve in a moment. Things that might not even have been important to me as the year progressed. Which made achieving them pointless altogether.
The only time I would actually revisit resolutions was when I occasionally stumbled upon the list as I was going through my notes. Otherwise it would be the following year when we finally came together to review our resolutions once again.
Instead of a list of resolutions, I wanted to set an intention for myself. With all the change I was facing in 2017 I was looking for a deeper commitment to myself and in the way that I lived each and every day.
So what’s the difference between resolutions and intentions?
While resolutions are focused on end outcomes, intentions are more process orientated. They are the inner guidance or pathways you approach that that lead to varying outcomes. This article does a pretty good job of explaining the detailed difference between the two in my opinion.
Every year, for the past few years, I have had a constant resolution to ‘touch my head with my toe’. I promise this is not as weird as it sounds. Although it does sound pretty strange!! I am really into the practice of yoga and one of my favorite poses when I started my journey with yoga was the dancer pose or natarajasana, displayed below.
Stock photo courtesy of Pexel
When it came time to review my resolutions, I always had to place a nice big ‘X’ next to this one. Although, with each passing year, I was discovering my body and flexibility a little more, I overlooked my actual progress in the pose because the end outcome was always negative. I was not achieving what I set myself to by the end of the year.
Anyone who practices yoga on a regular basis would know that asanas / poses progress in time and vary according to each and every person. Perhaps I might never touch my head with my toe. That might not necessarily mean that my Natarajasana is not in good form.
That is where intentions are perhaps a little more flexible. Instead of focusing on the ideal end outcome which we attach ourselves to, I could choose to focus on the process of working on my flexibility instead. That way regardless of the position of my toe and head, I still celebrate the improvements in the pose just as they are.
Intentions can guide and power you through many different outcomes while enjoying the journey of getting there. My intention for this year was inspired by the author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert.
To be 1 percent more curious than I am fearful.
And as difficult as this can be for me in many situations at many different stages, I am choosing to exercise this intention in all my actions. Because I know that it will serve me best in a period of transformation.
Let me know what you think about resolutions and intentions. And with January almost coming to an end, if are you on track with yours?